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Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15

  • Samsung Galaxy S24

    Samsung base flagship model

    The Galaxy S24 is a big step forward for the company. The newest flagship brings a much improved processor, a slew of AI features that are supposed to improve both the camera and the overall user experience, and an even better display. All that for a relatively affordable price, and Samsung seems to have hit a home run this time.

    Pros

    • Galaxy AI looks helpful
    • Bigger, faster display
    • Faster processor
    • Improved cameras
    Cons

    • Galaxy AI could end up a gimmick
    • The design is very similar to last year

  • Apple iPhone 15

    Apple iPhone 15

    Apple base flagship model

    While the “Pro” iPhones are usually the headlining devices, the vanilla iPhone 15 is probably the value champion to beat. It has great software, awesome cameras and some neat tricks up its sleeve. It’s unfortunately hampered by an inadequate display, but for a cheaper iPhone, it’s easy to look the other way.

    Pros

    • Superb design
    • Reliable performance
    • Excellent camera
    • Nice display upgrade
    Cons

    • Still lacks always-on display
    • Only 60Hz refresh rate


Key Takeaways

  • Galaxy S24 and iPhone 15 are similarly priced at $799, but Samsung offers deals, giving more value.
  • Galaxy S24 and iPhone 15 have comparable specs, but S24 offers more new AI features and customization on OneUI 6.
  • Samsung Galaxy S24 has an edge over iPhone 15 with its 120Hz display, adaptive refresh rate, and better camera options.


This year is shaping up to be quite an interesting time for smartphone enthusiasts, as numerous interesting phones have already been announced, and even more are still coming.

That being said, the biggest rivalry is still the one between the two largest players in the smartphone market, Apple and Samsung. With a few months of maturing under the belt of both of the newest flagships, we’re checking out how the Galaxy S24 stacks up to the iPhone 15

Even though it’s the Ultra model that brings the biggest features to the table, most people are interested in the regular Galaxy S24. It’s a great middle ground between the size, the features, and the price. It’s exactly the same as with the regular iPhone 15. It’s the flagship for the masses, giving you 95% of what the most expensive model offers, for much less.


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Price and availability

A few months later, which has the best value?

Let’s start with what most people look at first when choosing a phone — their respective prices. Now, when both of these phones have been on the market for a few months, we can finally start deciding the value of the two. The iPhone 15 was launched on Sept. 22, along with its bigger sibling, the iPhone 15 Plus, and the more powerful iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The Galaxy S24, on the other hand, was unveiled during the Galaxy Unpacked 2024 event on January 17 and started shipping to customers two weeks later, on January 31.

Apple sells the iPhone 15, its cheapest flagship, in a few storage configurations. The base configuration gives you 128GB of storage and costs $799. You can also get the 256GB version for $899 and a 512GB model for $1099.

This year, Samsung didn’t raise the price of its flagship device. It means that the base model, with 128GB of storage again, will cost you $799 — exactly the same as the iPhone 15. You can also spec up to 256GB of internal storage. Of course, being Samsung, even only a few months after the release, you can already find quite a few deals on the newest flagship for the company, so if you look around, you can spend much less than full price.


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S23 vs S24 - camera closeupSpecifications

Let’s move on to the rest of the specs as well, starting with the processor. The iPhone 15 is equipped with the Apple A16 processor. It is the same silicon that powered the iPhone 14 Pro last year, but even though it’s a year old, it’s still a beast. However, the upcoming Galaxy S24 is equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which is supposed to finally bring some competition to Apple’s computing power, making it a pretty even match-up.

Fast operating, water-resistance, and USB-C charging

For the Samsung phone, the processor is supported by 8GB of RAM. However, if you go up to the Galaxy S24 Plus or Ultra models, you will also find configurations with 12GB of RAM. The iPhone 15, on the other hand, comes with 6GB of RAM. However, owing to different operating systems, this shouldn’t be much of an issue for the Apple users — these two phones just handle their memory differently. Other notable features that both of these phones share include the IP68 water-resistance rating, Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6e support.


It’s also worth mentioning that the iPhone 15 is the first iPhone to finally get a USB-C charging port, instead of the aging Lightning. Unfortunately, in contrast to the Pro models, the port itself only supports the USB 2 standard for data transfer. It means you’ll be limited to 480Mbps transfer speeds. The Galaxy S24 also comes with the standard USB-C port, but we’re expecting it to actually have the modern tech behind it, and just like its predecessor, supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 as well, with its 10Gbps transfer speeds.

  • Samsung Galaxy S24 Apple iPhone 15
    SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 or Samsung Exynos 2400 A16 Bionic
    Display 6.2 inches, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 2340 × 1080 (416ppi), 120Hz adpative refresh 6.1-inch, OLED, 2556 x 1179, HDR, 2000nits, 60Hz
    Storage 128GB/256GB 128/256/512GB
    Battery 4,000mAh 20 hours, 50% in 30 mins 20W wired, 15W MagSafe, 7.5W Qi wireless
    Ports USB-C USB-C
    Dimensions 147 × 70.6 × 7.6mm 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8mm
    Colors Sapphire Blue, Sandstone Orange, Jade Green, Cobalt Violet, Onyx Black, Amber Yellow, Marble Gray Black, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink
    IP Rating IP68 IP68
    Material Armor Aluminum 2.0 Aluminium


From talking about the insides of these phones, let’s go to something completely different and look at their outsides. Both Apple and Samsung, throughout the years, have come up with their own, distinctive styles, and you can see them continue with these newest devices.

Design

Distinct iPhone form, flat edges, bezels and buttons

Starting with the iPhone 15 — it’s a familiar face, with a few twists that make it even better than Apple’s previous flagships. It measures 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8mm, making it quite a pocketable form factor, with a 6.1-inch display. The edges are flat (with a slight curve to make them more comfortable to hold) and made out of aluminum, and the back is ceramic-coated glass with a familiar two-camera step and the Apple logo. Apple lets you buy the vanilla iPhone 15 in a few interesting colors: Black, Blue, Green, Yellow and Pink.


There are also two more changes. I’ve mentioned the inclusion of USB-C, but the iPhone 15 lacks a staple (and the curse) of the line for many years, the notch. Instead, Apple finally introduced the Dynamic Island to the lower-tier iPhones, making the cutout present on all the iPhone models, aside from the iPhone SE. What didn’t change is the inclusion of the mute switch. While the Pro models moved on to the Action Button, the regular iPhone 15 still has the familiar mute toggle.

S24 builds from S23, with smaller bezels but a larger display

Moving on to the Galaxy S24: the phone essentially looks very similar to last year’s S23 model, with a few twists. The size of the phone should remain largely unchanged. However, Samsung managed to fit a larger, 6.2-inch screen into virtually the same body, making the bezels even smaller. What’s more, the sides of the phone will be a little bit different, changing from a curved edge to a flat one, similar to what we see on the iPhone.


They are also made with recycled steel and a recycled plastic back. Aside from that change, the looks of the Galaxy S24 will be largely unchanged from its predecessor, going for the same vertical three-camera setup on the back. There are also four colors: White, Violet, Black and Yellow.

S23 vs S24 - edges closeup

Software

The biggest difference between these two devices will really be their software. The iPhone 15 comes equipped with iOS 17, Apple’s latest and greatest iteration of its mobile operating system.

Smooth processing on both, but one leans into AI

You get all the usual here; smooth operation, great features and awesome interoperability with other Apple devices, which work like magic together. You also get some new cool features: crash detection and emergency SOS via satellite, new personalization options and some cool tricks with the new Dynamic Island.


ios 17.2 update on iphone 15 pro

However, the Galaxy S24 has some tricks of its own. Of course, there is the magic of Android here — a more open OS with a lot of possibilities. Samsung’s twist on it with the newest OneUI 6 brings even more features and personalization options than before. What’s more, with the Galaxy S24 series, Samsung is going all-in on the AI craze. The new phone will feature Live Translate capabilities, enabling real-time, two-way translation, together with an Interpreter. What’s more, it also introduces Note Assist in Samsung Notes, helping you generate summaries and notes in pre-made formats.

You can now also use Circle to search — a new feature developed in collaboration with Google to make searching on the internet for anything visual much more convenient.


iphone 15 Apple iPhone 15 Plus feature imageDisplay

All that software trickery and hardware mastery would go for naught if not for the screen. Smartphone displays are, arguably, their most important part — you have to look at them to use the phone, so the way they look, how sharp and bright they are, and how smooth they feel, ultimately determines how good using your phone feels. That’s why comparing the displays of these two phones is so important, but it also shows a clear advantage that the upcoming Galaxy S24 will have over the vanilla iPhone 15.

Resolution, refresh rate, and brightness

Starting with Apple’s iPhone, it’s equipped with a 6.1-inch, OLED display with a resolution of 1179 x 2556 px. It reaches 1000 nits of sustained brightness with a peak brightness of 2000 nits. So far, it’s all looking great. You also get a Dynamic Island — a pill-shaped camera cutout — and really thin edges. However, what brings the iPhone 15 down a few notches is the refresh rate of the display.


Apple is unfortunately stuck with a 60Hz refresh rate for its non-Pro iPhones, making the screen feel much less fluid and smooth. It’s extremely noticeable when switching from a higher refresh rate screen, so even with all the color accuracy, brightness and resolution, the lack of a high refresh rate screen is quite a downer.

Moving on to the Galaxy S24, which hosts a 6.2-inch, 1080 x 2340 px LTPO AMOLED screen. The company is also using a newer, thinner and more power-efficient display. Additionally, the screen reaches 2600 nits peak brightness. All of this is, of course, topped off with an adaptive 1-120Hz refresh rate, making for a silky smooth experience of using the phone.

Apple iPhone 15 Plus review -10


Cameras

From casual users to enthusiast photographers, taking good photos is one of the fundamentals of a good phone for most smartphone owners. That’s why both Samsung and Apple take this field extremely seriously, and both the Galaxy S24 and the iPhone 15 are a great choice if you rely on your phone for taking photos.

S24 edges out iPhone 15 with one more included camera

The iPhone 15 comes with two cameras: a 48MP main shooter and a 12MP ultrawide lens. You also get a 12MP selfie camera. Overall, the image quality on the iPhone 15 is great — the main camera is magnificent, and the new, bigger sensor lets it shine even in low-light conditions. Of course, it also comes with Apple’s oversharpening, making the photos a bit unrealistic-looking, but you also get incredible HDR performance, great handling of highlights and shadows, as well as excellent skin color recognition. These cameras are extremely versatile and make for an awesome set.

Samsung Galaxy S24 back of phone in hand


The Galaxy S24, on the other hand, has a distinct advantage over the iPhone — it comes with one more camera. Aside from the 50MP main shooter, the 12MP ultrawide and the 12MP selfie cam, you also get a dedicated 10MP 3x zoom lens. If you often use the zoom feature in your camera app, this will come in handy for sure. What’s more, there are rumors that Samsung is going to implement a lot of AI-based image processing in its new phones this year, giving Google a run for its money.

Samsung also says it’s improving its Nightography and Sapce Zoom, making night photography even better. What’s more, Samsung is also introducing a slew of AI-based editing tools, such as Edit Suggestions and Generative Edit. These edit features should make both taking photos, and remixing them later, much easier and more convenient. One other thing worth mentioning is Samsung’s promise to provide 7 years of both Android updates and security updates for its newest flagship phones.


Battery and charging

If there is one field where both Samsung and Apple kind of disappoint year to year, it’s charging speeds. These phones come with great battery lives — the iPhone 15 does better here, offering incredible performance out of its relatively small 3349mAh cell, but Samsung is also doing great, offering whole-day use (especially with a more efficient SoC and screen) out of the 4000mAh battery. Unfortunately, topping up these batteries is quite a pain compared to the competition.

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Both the Galaxy S24 and the iPhone 15 come with relatively slow charging speeds. Apple and Samsung’s newest handsets use a USB-C charging port, but both max out at 25W wired charging, with 15W wireless charging, which is not that fast — even compared to Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra which features 65W wired charging. These slow charging speeds make for much longer visits at your charging station, and generally make the phones much less versatile — you cannot quickly top up the battery when it’s really needed, but you need to find some time in your day to dedicate to charging the device.


Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15: Which one should you choose?

As you can see, both of these phones do go head-to-head in most of the categories, often offering various advantages that the other side is missing — and vice versa. So, while it’s tough choosing the better pick, our choice will have to go to the Galaxy S24. It offers plenty of features that, on a daily basis, will make using your phone feel much more fluid than the iPhone. The additional camera, smoother, 120Hz display (which is also supposed to be brighter), as well as new AI features are sorely missing from Apple’s phones. All that with similar performance thanks to the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

Galaxy S24 169

Samsung Galaxy S24

Editor’s Choice

However, the iPhone 15 is still nothing to scoff at. It might lack some features that are commonplace on Android phones — such as a high refresh rate display — but it still has some tricks of its own. Its main cameras still edge Samsung’s out, along with the iPhone’s video prowess. It’s also unbeatable when it comes to audio and haptics, and even offers MagSafe wireless charging for all your battery needs.


Apple iPhone 15

Apple iPhone 15

Best for those in the Apple ecosystem

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